It was a bad week for the economy. A mere 126,000 jobs were added in March, far below expectations, and average pay declined. One wonders how many of those jobs were part time. Further, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta cut its estimate of first quarter GDP growth to zero:
The U.S. economy isn’t off to a great start in 2015. It’s looking so rotten that the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta just cut its growth projection to zero for the first three months of the year.
That’s a big drop from the 1.9% growth forecast they started with in early February.
As I wrote here, economic growth has been consistently disappointing throughout the Obama years. The president’s budgets have repeatedly forecast growth in the range of 5% to 6%, yet actual growth has been so poor that the administration has tried to celebrate feeble 2% growth as a success.
Year after year, the economy fails to perform as expected. Year after, year, excuses are found. The Associated Press acknowledges that growth has been persistently inadequate:
Some of the first quarter’s slowdown is no doubt due to an especially harsh winter. Yet nearly six years into the recovery from the Great Recession, the economy’s muddled progress seems inescapable. A long-awaited breakout remains elusive, suggesting that the economy’s direction has never been quite as simple as some analysts, politicians and bar stool philosophers would have it.
The AP offers a number of explanations for the economy’s poor performance: weather, the strong dollar, fluctuations in the price of oil, a lack of wage growth–this is an effect, not a cause–and the robotization of the economy.
Perhaps when all such excuses have been tried and found wanting, reporters and pundits will be forced to admit that among all the vicissitudes of the last six years, the consistent element has been liberal policies. Those liberal policies–extravagant government spending, steadily mounting debt, endless regulations, cronyism and the suppression of innovation, promotion of expensive energy, war on cheap electricity, and all the rest–have condemned a generation of Americans to limited opportunities for employment, promotion and the acquisition of wealth.